Members of Parliament should take the responsibility of interpreting the contents of the new constitution to their constituencies because it might be misinterpreted by ordinary people, says Young African Leaders Initiative governance advisor Isaac Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza said people should not forget that Zambia was country with a high percentage of illiterate people who could not understand the jargon that was in the constitution.
“We should not forget that Zambia is a country where the majority is illiterate to read the jargon which has been created in the constitution. It is for this reason that members of parliament who are meant to represent the interests of every member in their constituency should explain the amended Constitution,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said the interpretation of the constitution would only be done by an MP who was well informed about the contents of the constitution.
He also explained that an MP should be able to understand what the people were saying to be able to represent them well in parliament.
“I was in parliament myself when the constitution was being debated and I saw greater ignorance even amongst members of parliament on the provision of the draft constitution, on the provision of the land being vested in the hands of the President, even on the procedure of the bills, others even had to practically ask how do we vote on this one but experienced members of Parliament were able to advise, this is the kind of country we are living in,’’ he said.
Mr Mwanza said the new constitution might not be a perfect constitution but it was a better constitution than the previous one.
“The law that was assented to on Tuesday is not a perfect document but it is better than the constitution of 1996,” Mr Mwanza said. He said the constitution was a document that had been agreed on by representatives of 14,000000 people and it meant that the people had agreed with its contents.